Thanks to the US and China opens up the market in the coming time, Vietnam’s coconuts are full of opportunities to sthengthen the position to soon join the billion-USD export group.
THE US OPENED THE DOOR TO VIETNAM’S COCONUTS
In 2022, Vietnam’s coconut export turnover reached 900 million USD, making the country become the fourth-largest exporter of coconut products in the Asia-Pacific. Recently, the US announced the market opening for Vietnam’s coconut. Accordingly, Vietnamese producers can start exporting coconuts to the US immediately. This is good news for farmers in the Mekong Delta, where Vietnam’s coconut growing area is mainly concentrated.
Each import market has different requirements for Vietnam’s coconut. While China accepts dried coconuts, the US requires fresh coconuts with outer green husk removed completely or at least three-quarters. The reason given by the US Department of Animal and Plant Inspection is that the peeled coconut will be identified as a commercial coconut that is unable to sprout. Thereby, the risk of disease or harmful organisms that may be present on the coconut husk will be removed. If this is done, fresh coconuts exported to the US only have to pass a single inspection at the import ports.
The world’s 5th-largest coconut growing area gives Vietnam a lot of potential and advantages to expand its market.
As soon as the information that Vietname’s fresh coconuts will be exported to the US, the price of fresh coconuts in the Mekong Delta tends to increase again. If at the beginning of this year, the price of fresh coconut was only 15,000 – 20,000 VND/dozen, it has now up to 60,000 – 65,000 VND.
“If coconuts are exported, it is posible for the price to reach more than 60,000 VND. If not exported, the domestic price is 20,000 – 30,000 VND/dozen, “said Mr. Tran Cong Huan, Agricultural Cooperative of Tap Ngai, Tra Vinh.
According to experts, the opening up of the US to welcome fresh coconuts will contribute to a more stable domestic price, bringing better income to farmers.
“If Vietnamese businesses access the US market to export fresh coconuts, the farmers will be very excited. In the US market, fresh coconut will share the quantity of dried coconut, then the price will be stable, “said Mr. Duong Tho, Duong Phat Co., Ltd.
“The characteristics of vegetables and fruits are the technology of preservation and storage, but not for a long time. When countries import fresh fruits but do not use up, people still import new products. So other products may slow down, but vegetables and fruits grow quite well..”
Currently, the coconut area in Vietnam is about 200,000 ha, concentrated mainly in the Mekong Delta. The 5th-largest coconut growing area in the world helps Vietnam have many potentials and advantages to expand the market, bringing fresh coconuts to export”.
PREPARATION FOR COCONUT’S EXPORT
Coconut soon reached the top of billion-USD export.
Not only the US but Vietnam’s fresh coconut also has the opportunity for official export to China. Now, China’s annual market demand is up to 2.6 billion, but coconut products from Vietnam only meet 3.5% of the total demand of this market. Localities, farmers, and businesses are changing the way to make Vietnam’s fresh coconuts soon receive a “passport” to potential markets.
Tra Vinh province has a total coconut growing area of more than 27,000 ha, ranking second in the Mekong Delta with nearly seven million trees. To export coconuts to China smoothly, many businesses have invested in building organic coconut farms.
“There are more than 5,500 ha of coconut certified organic under the EU and USDA standards. CU organizations are continuing to evaluate and grant certification for more than 2,700 ha, “said Mr. Le Van Dong, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Tra Vinh province.
To prepare for the field test of China as well as meet the standards of difficult markets such as the US and Europe, Tra Vinh province in particular, and localities in the Mekong Delta have trained farmers to grow coconuts under international standards. This includes the issuance of growing area codes to actively manage and position coconut-growing areas that meet export standards.
“The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has directed the Department of Crops and Plant Protection to guide localities to survey the growing area, issue growing area codes, grant certification of organic coconuts for export to the international market,” Mr. Le Van Dong added.
“They just set up the growing area and the packaging facility then, if areas are eligible for export standards required by the importers, a list will be sent to the department and we will negotiate with the countries to accept this code. I hope that in the coming time, with the new management method, the data will be more consistent, and the locality will be more proactive in granting and managing growing area codes “, said Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, Deputy Director of Plant Protection Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to the Vietnam Coconut Association, in 2022, Vietnam’s coconut export turnover reached more than 900 million USD, ranking 4th in total value in the world coconut market. Thanks to the US and China opening up the market, Vietnam’s coconuts are full of opportunities to strengthen their position and soon join the billion-dollar fruit export group./.